Epiphany is always a season of beginnings and increasing light. This year it will be especially hopeful and exciting with the launch of our Search Committee for a settled pastor. Sunday the 10th will be the official service of dedication, and this week we will be reflecting on the journey ahead.
This Sunday is a transition day. It is the Second Sunday of Christmas when we sing our last Christmas carols. It is also Epiphany Sunday when we start this beautiful, light-filled season. The word Epiphany comes from a Greek root meaning manifestation or appearance. This Sunday we will celebrate the wise men’s recognition of God’s manifestation in the Christ child. We will read Matthew 2:1-12 (the story of the wise men) and Isaiah 60:1-6 (some of the most uplifting lines of poetry in the Bible). The sermon will explore how we can follow the guidance of the Spirit in our daily lives and in our search for a new pastor, as the Magi followed the star. To read about and listen to the music for this Sunday, Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, January 3, 2016 and Epiphany Season
CHRISTMAS SUNDAY On Sunday, December 20th, at 10:00 AM we will have our traditional Christmas Sunday celebration, with the story of the Annunciation and Birth read by Bridget Peters, Storme Odell and Tony Brainerd. The readings will be interspersed with the beloved Christmas carols, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen and Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. Ted and Dotti Unkles will light the four Advent candles, Hope, Peace, Joy and Love, with the children’s help, reminding us that Christmas is not here yet, even though we already have begun the celebration.
Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes: Christmas Sunday, Christmas Eve, and the Sunday after Christmas
The children’s area just got more cozy! We have a new rug and some floor pillows for comfy lounging.
On December 13, the children performed their annual pageant, and afterwards, lit the three Advent candles of hope, peace, and joy.
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This Third Sunday of Advent will be a mix of Advent and Christmas as we rejoice in the Children’s Christmas Pageant and light the Advent Candle of Joy. Once again this year the Pageant will be based on the Gloria and Bill Gaither song, “Come and See What’s Happenin’ in the Barn!” sung by John Atwood, Randy and Storme Odell, Bridget Peters and Marcia Tomlinson, with Randy Odell on guitar. The same performers will also sing “Light of the Stable” by Elizabeth & Steven Rhymer as the Anthem. (You can hear an Emmylou Harris recording of it here. “Light of the Stable” is the second youtube recording on that page.)
The congregation will sing O Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (set to the beautiful tune, Hyfrydol). We will end again this week by singing the benediction set to the music of the oldest Advent hymn, the plainchant Conditor Alme, that has been sung daily in monasteries during Advent since the 7th Century. Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes: December 13, 2015 and Christmas Services
At the beginning of Tom’s sermon on December 6, he mentioned Ahmad Majid and his family, which includes his pregnant wife, along with a small group of refugees from Syria. This past summer Anemona Hartocollis, a journalist with the NY Times, joined this small group of desperate people as they traveled from Syria to find sanctuary. To read a full account of their story please click this link: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/22/world/europe/syrian-refugees.html?_r=1
The Missions and Social Action Committee of our church has attended a couple of informational sessions to see how the people of the Upper Valley can be of help. A group of several churches and synagogues is forming and researching ways to assists families in need. On January 31, the Missions and Social Action Committee will be providing the sermon for the morning centered on the topic of our response to this refugee crisis. Please feel free to talk to Holly Young, Lucia Button, or Tina Towle, or you can also contact Ginny Moore at 802-222-9675 or via e-mail (VirginiaMJMoore@gmail.com) if you would like more information or would like to help out.
On November 29, the first Sunday in Advent, the children brought in evergreen branches to place around the Advent candles. They also sang “Light One Candle” with the choir, then helped with an Advent reading, and finally, lit the first Advent candle of hope.
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The Second Sunday of Advent is the Sunday of Peace, and much about this service will be designed to help you feel peace within the beauty and comfort of Advent. Members of the Board of Mission and Social Action will light the Advent Candle with the children’s help. We will read reassuring words from the Prophet Micah (5:2-5a) about our security in God, a passage that ends “and he shall be the one of peace.” We will hear one of the most beautiful passages in all the Bible, the Benedictus of Zechariah, the Father of John the Baptist, that ends:
“By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes: December 6, 2015
Full Circle presents its annual holiday concert at the church on Friday, December 18th at 7:30 p.m. They will give another performance on Saturday, December 19th at the Lyme Congregational Church.
We are entering Advent this Sunday, which may be the most beautiful and beloved season of the church year. This is especially true if we include the Christmas Eve service, but each Sunday in Advent is full of music and rituals and readings designed to fill us with the Advent blessings of hope, peace, joy and love.
Advent is a season to savor, and this First Sunday of Advent will offer many opportunities to feel moved. Early in the service the children will bring in greens to decorate the Advent candle table. The children and adult choir will sing Light One Candle as the Anthem, and then they will light the candle of Hope together.
Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes: November 29, 2015